Romero Close, SW9

Place Name

Originally Garden Close. Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (August 15, 1917 – March 24, 1980) was Archbishop of El Salvador. A leading proponent of the South American “Liberation Theology” he clashed with the the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance and the military dictatorship amid increasing social injustice and violence taking place against the background of the Salvadoran Civil War. His condemnation of the authorities and demands for human rights made him a target for death threats for years. He was gunned down by four men as he celebrated mass. Soon after staff at CAFOD (Catholic Agency For Overseas Development) began lobbying Lambeth Council to have the name of the road where its offices were based, Garden Close, changed; which councillors eventually agreed to do. Speaking after Romero was made a saint by Pope Francis in 2018, CAFOD Director Chris Bain said: “Oscar Romero may not be a household name in the UK, but he was one of one of great heroes of the Twentieth Century. He deserves to be commemorated alongside the likes of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi as a peacemaker who sacrificed his life standing up to injustice. I hope that his beatification will give him the wider recognition he so richly deserves. During three tumultuous years as Archbishop of San Salvador, Romero braved death threats time and again to denounce violence and speak out on behalf of the victims of his country’s civil war. He was a remarkable man, who was inspired by his faith to fight not just poverty but injustice, to give a voice to the voiceless. The reason that CAFOD staff and supporters, like millions of Catholics around the world, hold him in such high regard is obvious. He didn’t simply talk about the need to love your neighbour, but courageously denounced the violence and named the injustices that plagued his country. Here at CAFOD we have regarded him as a Saint for years, and we are delighted that the Church is taking this crucial step towards recognising him as one.” When when CAFOD moved to a new office in 2009, it was named Romero House.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *